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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Centrifugal Force Creates 'Artificial Gravity'  
  Using centrifugal force in a rotating cylinder as a substitute for gravity.  

Very early use of this idea in science fiction.

They entered an elevator. Three minutes later they stepped off upon the side of the great cylinder that housed the City, and entered a low building with a broad concrete road curving up before it. As they stepped out, it gave Bill a curious dizzy feeling to look up and see busy streets, inverted, a mile above his head. The road before them curved smoothly up on either hand, bordered with beautiful trees, until its ends met again above his head.

The centrifugal force that held objects against the sides of the cylinder acted in precisely the same way as gravity on the earth—except that it pulled away from the center of the cylinder, instead of toward it.

From The Prince of Space, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

See the entry for city of space from this same work for a more detailed discussion about artificial gravity.

For the first use of the idea see artificial gravity from Brigands of the Moon (1930) by Ray Cummings. Published the same year was the artificial gravity system from Last and First Men (1930) by Olaf Stapledon. See also paragravity from Collision Orbit (1941) by Jack Williamson.

This basic problem of space travel was recognized as early as the 17th century; see the entry for weightlessness in space from The Man in the Moone (1638), by Francis Godwin.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Prince of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Prince of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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